The government is working on bringing out rules to allow investigating agencies (police forces) to examine electronic evidence related to cyber crime. Until now, the investigating agencies were approaching the Department of Information Technology (DeitY) to seek validation of electronic evidence.

According to sources in the know, as a long-term plan, the Ministry of IT (MeitY) is exploring setting up electronic labs in each district to validate an examiner for any electronic evidence.

“Setting up a lab in each district will be a long-term plan. But, to start with, DeitY would validate some authorities or forensic labs to validate cyber evidence (in electronic format) so that it can stand valid in any court. Till now, any such electronic evidence was validated only through MeitY’s examiner in the court (where the case is being heard),” a senior government official told BusinessLine .

According to experts, such a move by the government will be good step and help in clearing a lot of pending cases due to delayed electronic evidences.

“The authorised government examiner or a lab authorised by the government will help a lot of government entities under law, because government is the biggest litigant in the courts. For instance, three out of five cases require electronic evidence today. If government comes out with such rules/regulations, it could be treated as a gospel of truth and lot of challenges can be prosecuted in a time-bound manner,” Pavan Duggal, Cyberlaw expert and Advocate, Supreme Court, said.

Duggal said the IT Act 2000 did not have any such proposal for an electronic evidence examiner. But, in 2008, the government, under a concept order of Section 79 (A), proposed to have such an examiner for electronic evidence. This has now come back to the limelight, even though after nine years, he added.